It’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and although my body is present, my mind has already wandered far far away to a land of endless pumpkin pies and Cyber Monday sales. I would apologize, but I’m having trouble forming coherent thoughts. Because we’ve almost made it to the four day weekend. Which means, it’s party time. 

Last week, Christina (a badass runner and blogger) did a fun little 4 Things Q&A post, and because I suck at the internet, I didn’t realize she tagged me until yesterday. An epic, epic fail. But also fabulous timing, as I’m not feeling inspired to talk about anything other than green bean casserole and elastic waistlines.

So I pretended I was a celebrity taking a Cosmo quiz. YOU’RE WELCOME.

 

Alright, your turn! Answer one or all of these! Or tell me how you plan to spend your Thanksgiving calories. Or BOTH. And don’t forget to enter the Katie Ellisor Christmas Newsletter. You need one!

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • It’s always so hard to focus the day before a long weekend! You reminded me that I don’t like pickles either (I forgot about that when I was doing the survey). But I really hate when restaurants add them to a plate or a to-go bag and they get all soggy and leak over your other food!
    I hope you have a great (pickle-free) Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

  • Alli

    Would you like some of my pickle!ReplyCancel

  • Deidre

    Four places I’d rather be right now.
    1. A 9 to 5 full time stable job, working means a lot to me
    2. At boot camp lol, where i met your pretty face.
    3. Visiting my out state family
    4. In Aspen with my love and my fur babies walking around enjoying the beauty of the town and the fact dogs are allowed almost anywhere .. :)..
    P.s. I’ll be spending my Thanksgiving cooking up a storm and hosting thanksgiving for our families ..ReplyCancel

  • in dying of laughter over the Lubbock comment!!! YESSSS.ReplyCancel

  • Your handwriting though. So perfect. Fill out all of my Christmas cards for me?ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Hahahahahaha I can ASSURE YOU – you do not want that! Legible is not my specialty.ReplyCancel

  • Hi you are hilarious and I love you. DID YOU WATCH NEW GIRL LAST NIGHT OMG OMG OMG.ReplyCancel

  • Oh, I forgot to say that I will gladly devour any and all cheesecake you are presented with and do not wish to eat. Because I am such a selfless and amazing friend.ReplyCancel

  • April

    Dang, I may have to add a dessert so you have a choice or maybe I will just get a bigger bottle of wine.
    :) ReplyCancel

  • You have been to Kenya….I HAVE BEEN TO KENYA! How did I not stalk your blog enough to know this before?! Did you do humanitarian work there or a safari? I did both.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Haha, well probably because I don’t think I’ve mentioned it until now! I went when I was 17 I think, for a mission trip! And yes, I did both! :) ReplyCancel

  • bahahha. we went to lubbock in january and that made me laugh out of my mouth (LOOMM instead of LOL). i totally think you are a super celebrity now!ReplyCancel

The last time I was featured on a Christmas card, I’m pretty sure I had a serious case of metal mouth and frizzy hair that would put any pre-teen to shame. So my heart did a little pitter-patter when fall finally arrived and I realized it was time to put together our very first newlywed Christmas card!

Taylor and I net up with Allison this weekend for a quick (literally – five minute) photo sesh and I love what we ended up with! (As always, all photo credit goes to my very best friend – Allison Harp Photography.)

And my FAVORITE.

Even though I’m in LOVE with the photos, the fact is that SO much has happened since April 25. One quick picture doesn’t seem like quite enough, and I knew wanted to include something else that would give people a little snapshot of our year.

Enter Katie.

The last time Katie and I partnered up, we were giving away some of her gorgeous watercolors (which would make PERFECT Christmas gifts!). And since the holidays are just around the corner, right now she’s offering these adorable custom Christmas newsletters!

I’m obsessed with this design! I love that it’s short and sweet, but still just so CHARMING. It was super easy to personalize to what Taylor and I have experienced in 2014. And when I got stumped, Katie was quick to offer suggestions to get the creative juices a flowin’. It was honestly so much fun to take a few minutes together with Taylor to reflect on the past year, figure out how many miles we’ve run, what we’ve accomplished, the places we’ve visited, and even more exciting- think of the things we want to accomplish in 2015!

So to celebrate the upcoming holidays, Katie has offered to give one lucky reader a customized Christmas newsletter! Check out the rafflecopter below for all the different ways to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends next Monday, December 1, and the winner will be announced Tuesday, December 2.

HOLY CRAP. Where did November go?!

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat 

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  • If y’all aren’t just the cutest. I LOVE that Christmas card. I’ve never even sent a Christmas card but now I want to. That’s how cute you and Taylor/the custom design are. Except who would I even send it to? You. I’d send it to you.ReplyCancel

  • I love this type of giveaway. Would it be weird to say that if I won, I would give it to my sister and her new hubby?

    They have way more to document this year than I do. :) ReplyCancel

  • deidre

    If I won I would save it for Jason and I to document our yr. I love it nat so adorable.The pics are always the sweetest. Happy Early Thanksgiving :) ReplyCancel

  • Taylor Snow

    kinda obsessed with your blog, so hope that’s ok! I would love to win this giveaway and document mine and my (NEW) husbands first year! we just got married 8/02!ReplyCancel

  • Randi

    Love your pics and the newsletter!!! What a great idea!!!

    So far I love her water colors….classic, simple, yet beautiful :-) ReplyCancel

  • I loveee this!!! I would probably give it to my fiance as a Christmas gift, documenting our year of engaged-ness, but really it would just be a selfish gift to myself.ReplyCancel

  • These are adorable. So jealous that your best friend is an amazing photographer. We need Christmas cards done, and I’ve put it off until the last minute of course!ReplyCancel

  • Terri K

    Oh I’d LOVE To win this for our Christmas cards.. we are running out of time to do a fancy card this year and these would be adorable and fresh to do. We’ve had lots of events so pick me!ReplyCancel

  • Liz

    Aw the pictures are so cute! Annnnd imma need to know the deetz on your jacket. Seriously, spill it!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Haha oh girl you are too funny! I got it at Ross last fall, and I love it! It’s the perfect thickness to be warm, but not smothered for these Texas winters!ReplyCancel

  • Holly B

    I just saw this style of newsletter on Pinterest and I love it! I got married last year and we’ve been starting a brewing business so I wanted to share as a married couple! I feel ya on the holiday cards- I’ve always wanted to send one :) ReplyCancel

  • Of course I see this the day after I ordered ours. It’s ok because when you live on the other end of Earth (literally) you have to pay Shutterfly a crap ton of money to mail your cards for you. Also, I 100% agree about Christmas cards being a huge highlight of being married. This is year 2 and I am way too excited still.ReplyCancel

  • Oh my gosh! I love the Christmas Newsletter!!! How awesome is that, especially because I have no creativity at all.

    Love the giveaway ;) ReplyCancel

  • I love the choose happy print!ReplyCancel

  • ahhh that is SUCH a genius design idea!!! brilliant. also love those photos of you two-such fun and sweetness captured!ReplyCancel

It’s Monday. Which means things could be better, but they could also be worse.

But y’all. So much happened over the weekend that I literally don’t know where to start. But Friday seems like the most logical choice. Because on Friday, these crazy kids got married.

NO, I KNOW. They’re really cute. Allison took some of the most incredible pictures I’ve ever seen, and if you’re in the mood to swoon click HERE. You’ll die.

Anyway, I left work early Friday to out to the venue for some hardcore bridesmaid-ing. And by that, I mean, mimosa swigging and lounging around with this bride-to-be!

Emily’s gift to all the bridesmaids were these adorable chambray monogrammed tops and cute pajama shorts. It’s my new every day uniform.

We all had such a blast getting ready together, and soaking in the day with this GLOWING bride-to-be.

Emily and Brent shared the sweetest first look of all time (seriously – LOOK at this), and after group pictures we all joined back together to snap a few quick photos before the ceremony began.

These two though – MODELS.

Emily and Brent couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful fall day. The forecast threatened rain, but the bad weather held off and gave them one HELL of a ceremony.

And then it was time to celebrate!

We celebrated the only way we know how, by laughing our asses off and dancing the night away!

And kisses. Because weddings and happily ever afters make me sappy.

Honest to goodness, the best wedding I’ve ever been a part of. Emily and Brent – you two are the sweetest. Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness!

On Saturday, I woke up completely and totally exhausted. I was supposed to run 20 miles that morning, but I knew as we were heading home Friday evening, there was no way that was going to happen. So instead, I slept in. And then I woke up and cooked us a big french toast breakfast.

It ended up being a good thing that I decided not to do my long run, there was some crazy weather and insane lightning activity on the trails.

Taylor and I lazied around all morning, and then we finally headed out in the rain to pick up some groceries and get my ring cleaned. Now it actually resembles a diamond instead of a large clump of dirt.

And then I spent the afternoon baking cookies, eating pizza, and drinking wine. The rain made me do it.

Saturday evening we went out bowling with some of Taylor’s firefighter buddies. There are no pictures but it looked a lot like this. I don’t want to be a bragger, but I’m like really good at bowling.

RIGHT.

Then Sunday, oh sweet Sunday, was Annual Best Friends Day.

I don’t remember when ABFD started, but the jist is this: we meet up for a full day of shopping and eating. The original intent was to get started on our Christmas shopping, but that always flies out the window in our first hour together.  It also used to take place on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but then big kid jobs and cross-country moves started to interfere, so now we squeeze it in when we can. And this year, it was yesterday.

We started the morning off with brunch at my favorite place in the entire world, Winslow’s Wine Cafe.

And then onto the good stuff. SHOPPING.

We started out at Anthropologie, because I get a real kick out of trying on things that I could never, under any circumstance, afford.

Allison always does SO well with finding things in Anthro’s sale section, and I do SO well at finding things in the $300 price range. But we played fashion show anyway.

I love all of these things and I’m going to start a GoFundMe campaign in the very near future so that you may all donate to the “keep Natalie trendy” cause.

After shopping, we headed over to Avoca for coffee and a snack so Allison could get a little bit of work done. This is how I feel about her editing photos in the middle of ABFD.

But then she let me have half of her everything bagel and I was like whatever. It’s fine. I’m fine.

That afternoon, Allison had to skip out for a few hours to do Sydney’s engagement pictures. So I stole her car, made a trip to Target, and then did some reading. And then I took a picture so you would believe me.

After the photoshoot, we met back up for dinner and MOCKINGJAY (pause for effect) at Movie Tavern.

We split the warm bacon salad and the mahi-mahi fish tacos and oh my crap – it was all so, so delicious.

Annnnnd then a movie theater selfie.

Did you know that other movie theater patrons really love it when you take a picture and your phone flashes? They do. They love it. It’s the best way to make friends. Or another reaction is for them to audibly grunt and sigh and you’re like PEOPLE CALM DOWN THE DAMN PREVIEWS HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED YET. And we’re just like, whatever – we’ve got popcorn and Mockingjay. We’re good.

Mockingjay was out of this world. I read the whole series (multiple times) and I was still on the edge of my seat the ENTIRE time. I already want to see it again. Like seven more times.

So to summarize the weekend: A wedding, The Cupid Shuffle, sleeping in, Annual Best Friends Day, and Mockingjay – these are a few of my favorite things.

Happy freaking Monday.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • Emily

    I LOVE YOU AND YOUR BLOG AND US BEING ON YOUR BLOG!!! Thank you so so much for being a part of our big daaay! :) ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      EM – looking at the pictures over again made me want to CRY. BEST WEDDING EVERRRR.ReplyCancel

  • I can’t count the number of times I’ve fallen on my ass, thrown the ball into the wrong lane, or accidentally hit myself in the junk while bowling. Even if you ACTUALLY bowled like that, your bowling skill level is still like a million higher than mine.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Sometimes I throw it and just immediately walk away. No reason to look back.ReplyCancel

  • Um…that little black Anthro dress is SUPER gorgeous on you! But I totally understand your plight…I’m pretty sure I’d have to sell an internal organ on the black market to even begin to pay for all the stuff I want to buy in that store.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I mean I afford one of their mugs. Maybe.ReplyCancel

  • Chels

    You have such a pretty smile! Glad you had a great weekend beautiful lady!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Ok, you are way too nice! Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

  • This looks like such a fun weekend. Not that any of my friends are engaged yet, but a few of them have had boyfriends for 2-4 years and I’m already looking forward to their weddings!

    Also those dresses, especially the floral multicolored one… definitely have your name on them! :)
    -EReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I KNOWWW! I felt like a fancy 1950′s house wife.ReplyCancel

  • Looks like you had a full weekend! The bride did a great job with all the wedding details – they look gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Emily’s wedding was STUNNING. Heck yes I creepily stalked through all of Allison’s beautiful photographs. I feel like I know them now. But don’t tell them that, it would only scare them. For real though congratulations to Emily and her husband! Also….I’LL GO SEE MOCKINGJAY SEVEN MORE TIMES WITH YOU.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Yes, don’t frighten the little newlyweds. But YEAH. They make gorgeous things and YES MOCKINGJAY IMMEDIATELY. Stuff tacos in our purses?ReplyCancel

  • I’m glad you had better luck with Mockingjay. We went Friday night after indian food and a bottle of wine. I slept through 90% of it. I really shouldn’t do any activities that involve sitting in the dark after 8pm. I do want to see it again- after a couple cups of coffee and in the middle of the day.ReplyCancel

  • Sounds like another great weekend! You always do so many fun things over the weekends and Im partly jealous and partly tired from just reading it all! I can’t wait to see Mockingjay but I never go to the movies anymore so it will probably be awhile…ReplyCancel

HEY Y’ALL HEY. It’s time for Friday Favorites!  

| Pitch Perfect 2 Trailer |

You’ll never guess who showed me this trailer. Oh wait, yes you will. It’s the man who loves Pitch Perfect more than any movie in the entire world, my husband. I think he admitted to watching the trailer about 83 times and y’all – each time he was positively glowing.

| Betches Love This |

Lindsay got me following Betches on Instagram last week, then I wandered over to the blog, then I wandered into the store.

It’s an empire of Betches and I love it all.

| Tinder Guys Unknowingly Answer Carrie’s Questions from Sex & The City |

Found on Buzzfeed (duh), this girl sent epic Carrie Bradshaw lines to her Tinder matches and the responses were hysterical. If you’re a Sex & The City fan, you will die.

| Charts for People Obsessed with Serial |

I’m still just as obsessed with Serial as ever. That’s a lie. I’m way more obsessed now than ever before, and find myself crawling down into the Reddit theory rabbit hole more often than I’d like to admit. But once you’re down there you REALLY CAN’T GET OUT. I am convinced that I will solve this murder. But last night Carter tweeted me this link of Charts for People Obsessed with Serial and I almost passed out from all the excitement. If you love Serial, you will love this.

| Emily’s WEDDING |

She got engaged this spring, we partied our asses off last month, and now the big day is finally here!

I’m slipping out of work early this morning to meet up with this sweet girl and the other bridesmaids for a day of mimosas and excitement and she gets ready to walk down the aisle tonight! CAN.NOT.WAIT.

| Annual Best Friends Day |

Allison is in town, and ABFD is THIS SUNDAY.

There will shopping and brunching and shopping and lunching and shopping and drinking and shopping and in a surprising plot twist – MOCKINGJAY.

I can’t freaking wait.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

 

 

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I feel like it’s time for a little life update. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of wine – WAIT WHAT. What time is it? If it’s before noon in your time zone, you may want to sub wine for coffee. Unless you’re not working. Then, eh - what the hell? Go for the wine. This is a safe place. A judgment-free zone.

Tuesday evening, I skillfully bribed Lindsay to come see me, with the promise of a $5 bottle of pinot grigio. Everybody knows that girl is a sucker for free booze, so she navigated through the crazy traffic and landed on my doorstep. With cookies. I KNOW.

We popped the cork, ordered a pizza, and then planted ourselves in front of the TV and balked at the television conundrum that is MasterChef Junior. Did everybody else know this show existed?! It was mind-blowing. Where did that 8 year old learn how to brown ground beef?! Because I’m STILL working on that. And, oh shit. Now he’s cutting onions. With a knife. AND HIS EYES AREN’T EVEN WATERING. And , I’m sorry – did she just say she’s making a curry shepherds pie?

I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND.

This might be funny if it wasn’t actually REAL. That happened. She really was frantically searching for truffle butter. YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP PEOPLE.

Basically all these kids are brilliant and articulate and I don’t get it so somebody please explain it to me. Will there one day be a restaurant run by all children chefs? What will that world look like?! OH MY GOD THE CHILDREN REALLY ARE OUR FUTURE. Teach them well and let them make lemon basil cupcakes.

Meanwhile, I’ll be over here. Chillin’ in my sweatpants, eating pepperonis one by one.

In other news, I got to see this girl yesterday. You remember her – she’s the one who abandoned me in July and left me all alone without an office soulmate. It’s fine. I’m over it. Or at least I pretended to be when she invited me to her hibachi birthday lunch. Because hibachi.

I even bought her cupcakes. And I only ate one. That’s what I call a salted caramel sacrifice.

In other other news, this guy is just a couple of weeks away from his graduation.

Little update, for those of you who are new here. As long as I’ve known Taylor, his dream job has been to become a firefighter. Well, that dream finally came true at the beginning of this year, when he was accepted into the Fort Worth Fire Department’s training academy. He started the academy on April 21, and we got married on April 25. We took a long nap on April 26, and we moved him in with me on April 27. And he was back in training on Monday, April 28. And that’s what life has looked like for the last 8 months.

The fact of the matter is, our marriage doesn’t know any different. What does life even looks like without fire academy in it? Free time? Hold on, we’re confused. What do we do with this? And what am I supposed to do when Taylor is away working for 24 hours, and then gets to sit around at home for 48 hours afterwards?

It’s all so strange.

He’s doing his clinical rotations right now, so he’s working really oddball shifts. Some of them are overnight, some start early in the morning, and have him waking up at 3am. It’s just really weird right now. We’re not on a schedule, so life one day looks completely different from life the next. And it’s throwing me one hell of a curveball. Examples:

1 – Every day we’ve been married, he’s left the house at 5am. Sometimes even earlier, if the had a big test. But the past couple of weeks, there have been nights he’s kept himself up late in order to prepare for an overnight shift the next evening. So I’m waking up, sneaking out of bed, getting ready quietly, and leaving for work while he’s still tucked in our bed. NO. DISAPPROVE. How dare you sleep without me.

2 – He’s now got free days. Which means he can meet me for lunch, or run to the bank, or put up Christmas lights, OR do all of the above. On random Tuesdays.

3 – He can now save my life. Or your life. Or anyone’s life really. Not only can he rescue cats from trees, he can yank you out of a fire and administer CPR like a pro. He’s also become very effective at checking pulses. I know this because he checks mine like 43 times a day. #practicemakesperfect

4 – After graduation, his schedule is SET. Forever. Like, forever. Which means we already know strange things like if he’ll be working on my 47th birthday. It’s kinda nice, and lets both of us and our families know what to expect for the holidays and special occasions and we can plan around that. But it also means that I’ll be spending my first married Christmas and New Years Eve alone. I mean, not totally alone, I’m obviously going to find a replacement husband. But he won’t be the same as the original.

So life is crazy right now. But the good kind of crazy. Stay tuned. Because it is bound to get even crazier.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

 

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  • Congrats to Taylor! What an exciting time.

    My husband works in finance soooooo he is basically gone from 5am to 8pm every day. I don’t know how he does it! Weekends are magical. I would love it if he could stay home during week days!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley

    You are just so lovely and entertaining and I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog! Craziness is what keeps life entertaining and keeps you on your toes :) I’m in my own bout of craziness, just got engaged 3 weeks ago, just applied to grad school and am house hunting. It’s madness, but at least you’re never bored. Congrats to your husband and best wishes as you get through this crazy time! Thanks for writing this fab blog :) ReplyCancel

  • daaang that sounds like a crazy schedule for when you all (or y’all for you texans) when you got married up until now! also, what are you planning for your 47th birthday? i hope it’s extravagant!

    love the picture of you and lindsay-only slightly jealous of cookies and wine and pepperoni (i have a carrot, water and a piece of bread booo).

    hope the crazy chills out soon!ReplyCancel

  • This sounds kind of like my life. I feel like Cameron and I are always getting dressed in the dark to not wake each other up. Some days he gets up at 4:45am to teach class and other days he gets to sleep in past 8am. Sometimes I’ll finally see myself in full-lighting after getting ready in the dark and realize I WAY over-did the make up.ReplyCancel